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Jazz ready for a physical battle against San Antonio

Published May 1, 2012 5:04 pm

NBA Playoffs • Jazz need better execution against the top-seeded Spurs in game 2.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Jazz need to shoot better. They need to hold onto the ball better. They need to execute better.

In short, the Jazz must do almost everything better — especially on offense — if they're going to beat the heavily favored San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff series on Wednesday night. The game is on the road in San Antonio, but will be broadcast on TNT and on ROOT Sports, starting at 5 p.m., keeping thousands of Jazz fans in Utah glued to their televisions.

"Our offense is predicated on setting screens, making hard cuts and moving the ball," the Jazz's Paul Millsap said. "If we do that, we'll be all right."

The top-seeded Spurs won Game 1 of the best-of-seven series 106-91 on Sunday, but only by pulling away in the final seven minutes. That left the Jazz feeling as if they can pull off a victory with just a few little adjustments, including perhaps having point guard Devin Harris play better after a poor outing in Game 1.

"We have to be as physical as they are, so we can run our offense better," the Jazz's Gordon Hayward said. "Just a few things like that will open things up a little bit."

Led by two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Tim Duncan, along with superstars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs are seen as one of the top contenders for the championship.

The Jazz played well down the stretch of the regular season, but were the final team to make the playoffs in the NBA's Western Conference. Only four such teams have upset a No. 1 seed like the Spurs — although one of them was the Memphis Grizzlies beating the Spurs just last year.